Windsbachen Knabenchor ©Mila Pavan
Windsbachen Knabenchor ©Mila Pavan
Orchestral concerts
St John Passion
04.04.2023
Tue.
7:00 PM
NFM, Main Hall
Programme:

J.S. Bach St John Passion BWV 245

Performers:

Ludwig Böhme – conductor
Anja Pöche – soprano
David Erler – alto
Tobias Hunger – tenor (Evangelist)
Klaus Mertens – baritone (Pilatus)
Thomas Laske – baritone (Jesus)
Windsbacher Knabenchor
Wrocław Baroque Orchestra
Jarosław Thiel – artistic direction of Wrocław Baroque Orchestra

Venue:
NFM, Main Hall
plac Wolności 1, 50-071 Wrocław
Tickets:
from 20 to 110 zł

The dramatic, emotional St John’s Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach is one of the greatest masterpieces of Baroque music. At the National Forum of Music, this work will be performed by the Wrocław Baroque Orchestra, Windsbacher Knabenchor and outstanding soloists. The concert will be led by the excellent conductor Ludwig Böhme.

St John’s Passsion was written during Johann Sebastian Bach’s Leipzig period, when the composer was cantor at St Thomas church. It was written at the request of the city council. The premiere took place during the vespers of Good Friday, 7 April 1724, in the Church of St Nicolas. The two parts of the Passion were then separated by a homily. The text of the work includes two chapters from the Gospel of St John – from the arrest of Jesus to the laying of his body in the tomb after death on the cross. Interestingly, to this emotional text, Bach also added several fragments from the Gospel of St Matthew, including Peter’s lament after denying Jesus, as well as the scene of the veil tearing up in the Temple. The result is a work that is extremely dramatic, raw, poignant and engaging for the audience. The composer provided solo roles for the Evangelist, Peter, Jesus, Pilate, and the Choir should be added to these protagonists, not only commenting on the events, but also directly taking part in them. The dynamism is enhanced by the fact that various dialogues and statements of the participants of the events abound. Bach does not hesitate to strongly emphasise contrasts, which adds to the theatricality of the work. The mood of Passion is introduced by the anxious plea of the community – Herr, unser Herrscher, sung by the choir. However, the emotional focal point is the dark alto aria Es ist vollbracht following the death of Jesus, in which the solo voice is accompanied by the solo viola da gamba. The death of the Saviour also means victory over sin, hence the middle section of the aria is a lively fragment accompanied by strings, after which the viola da gamba’s lament returns. We can only imagine how much this direct, touching music made an impression on the audience gathered in the church in Leipzig in 1724. Yet even now, almost three hundred years later, Bach’s masterpiece has lost none of its freshness and evocativeness in conveying the feelings of the story. It still moves and fascinates.

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